Wildfires Blaze in Italy

Wildfires blazed Wednesday amid a blistering heat wave, burning a pine forest near Rome and eating up large swaths in southern Italy and on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Firefighters labored through the night to extinguish the blaze in a pine forest near Castelfusano, one of the green ''lungs of Rome.'' They had it under control Wednesday, but ash blanketed the ground and a pall of thick smoke hung over the area. In just 24 hours, the fire destroyed more than 250 acres, killed eight horses at a riding club, sent more than a dozen elderly people to the hospital with smoke inhalation and forced a group of 120 Roma, also known as Gypsies, to move their camp. Rome's mayor said arsonists are to blame and he offered a $49,000 reward for information.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/